ACUPUNCTURE, HERBS AND MISCARRIAGE: Systematic Review of Chinese Medicine for Miscarriage during Early Pregnancy


Lu Li et al, Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 753856
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine


Chinese data bases were screened for published studies on the effect of chinese herbal medicine on threatened miscarriage. While more than 300,000 papers were found, the trials generally did not meet the clinical research standards that would be required in the west. That said, it is not always easy or ethical to carry out placebo controlled randomised trials with pregnant women who are worried about miscarrying. Meta-analysis of some of the clinical trials indicated that Chinese medicines alone or Chinese medicines combined with Western medicines were more effective than Western medicines alone to treat threatened miscarriage in relieving the clinical signs, including vaginal bleeding, low back pain, and abdominal pains.


Miscarriage is a very common complication during early pregnancy. So far, clinical therapies have limitation in preventing the early pregnancy loss. Chinese Medicine, regarded as gentle, effective, and safe, has become popular and common as a complementary and alternative treatment for miscarriages. However, the evidence to support its therapeutic efficacy and safety is still very limited. Objectives and Methods. To summarize the clinical application of Chinese Medicine for pregnancy and provide scientific evidence on the efficacy and safety of Chinese medicines for miscarriage, we located all the relevant pieces of literature on the clinical applications of Chinese Medicine for miscarriage and worked out this systematic review. Results. 339,792 pieces of literature were identified, but no placebo was included and only few studies were selected for systematic review and conducted for meta-analysis. A combination of Chinese medicines and Western medicines was more effective than Chinese medicines alone. No specific safety problem was reported, but potential adverse events by certain medicines were identified. Conclusions. Studies vary considerably in design, interventions, and outcome measures; therefore conclusive results remain elusive. Large scales of randomized controlled trials and more scientific evidences are still necessary to confirm the efficacy and safety of Chinese medicines during early pregnancy.